Friday, August 22, 2014

What's in the box?

Those of you who actually read my under-rated bon-mots on the Book of Face can probably tell that I've had a challenging week. Bunches of little, silly things that aren't a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but I had good thing happen too! I entered a contest through Rite Aid, where I submitted a picture-a-day of my eyeshadow and I won a prize! So many exclamation points!!! 

Not pictured: Goop's head.
I had to fill out a shady looking form that came from a shady looking email address and I became convinced that I'd been scammed. They never told me what I won. They never stated that I actually did win. All the correspondence said, "You may be a winner". So a week after I turned in my shady form, I received a suspicious-looking box on my porch. When I opened it, there was a pretty, white box inside of that. And at that point,I have to tell you, I was very concerned that it might be Gwyneth Paltrow's head. Because my brain is a scary place and Se7en is an awesome movie. 

I'm glad to say, it wasn't. Instead, it was full of drugstore eye makeup! Whoo! I'm always excited about free stuff, but this does present a certain challenge. I'm pretty particular about my eye makeup since I'm sensitive to most mascaras and eyeliners and straight up allergic to all foundations. My eyes itch and swell if I use the wrong eye makeup, so I have to be careful. When it comes to drugstore products, the expensive stuff is generally the worst for me. The big names like Revlon, Covergirl, Maybelline, Rimmel and Milani are usually products I stay away from, with very few exceptions. I'd say most of L'Oriel too, except I like the HIP eye shadows a lot. But I digress. With that exception, the rest of those brand's eyeshadows are garbage. When it comes to drug stores, the cheaper stuff is usually better both in terms of color payoff and quality. I really like the cheap-y LA Colors eyeshadows. The color is vivid, though they are a bit itchy for me. I adore E.L.F. eyeshadow palettes. Their eyeshadow does not itch and has nice color payoff and blend-ability. NYX Pearl Eyeshadow and Jesse's Girl Eye Dusts are both fantastic. Great colors, great staying power and marvelous prices. Wet n' Wild is hit or miss, but when its hit, it's pretty good. 

Sadly the majority of what I received were the big name brands, but what do you want for free? Wanna see what I got?

Here's my haul. I'm thinking of starting a weekly post, maybe Superficial Saturday, or Profoundly Shallow Saturday, where I'll do short posts that review makeup, starting with the various products I won. Now, I must warn you, I'm no makeup expert and I have super sensitive skin, so take whatever I say with big grains of margarita salt. Then drink the margarita. Then drink another. Then try to put on liquid eyeliner and take pictures. Then send them to me, because that shit would be hilarious.

What drugstore eye makeup do you swear by? 
Leave me a comment below.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Christina Vs. The Barista

Via Flickr member: owlpacino

Me: I'd like a small, dark hot chocolate with a shot of caramel.**
Barista: Frozen, iced or hot?
Me: Uhm, what?
Barista: Frozen, iced or hot hot chocolate.
Me: A small, dark HOT chocolate.
Barista: *gives me a look* Which kind?
Me: *through clenched teeth* Hot. Hot. Chocolate.

After paying...

Me: Oh, I'm sorry, did you give me my receipt?
Barista: Uhm, no. *He looks away from me and then glances back like he forgot I was there.* Did you, like, want one or something?
Me: ...

Some days, I just can't with people.

On the plus side, my hot chocolate was delicious.

**Don't you judge me. I had a long day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Babies and Yelling and Cussing... Oh My!

 Shit got real at the Max & Erma's tonight. Lansing, bastion of etiquette that it is, gave me my second favorite restaurant fight, ever. The first, being the time a girl jumped into the Rally's walk-up window and got into a fight with the grill cook (her cousin) whom she accused of stealing her weed. It was scary, but also absurdly hilarious. Spatulas were used as weapons. Tomatoes were thrown. Then the cook threatened her with a kitchen knife. There was weave hair in every condiment container. The police showed up, the girl fled and the next day the cook told me that the girl found her missing weed and apologized, so everything was cool.

In the ghetttttoooo.

Anyhow, this isn't about that fight. Tonight, a young mother was at M&E's with her mom and her son, in the middle section. The son was shrill and would periodically shriek. She was doing her best to calm him and she seemed like a decent mama, though she looked hood-as-fuck. Now, I don't really care for kids, but I know they holler and there's not much you can do about a toddler when you're in the middle of your meal.

A big family sat at the far end of the room. They were dressed nicely and had a newborn with them. How do I know that? Because instead of approaching the girl like a human being, someone at their table shrieked at her from across the restaurant, "Oh. My. God. Could you stop that child from screaming? We have a newborn and he's trying to sleep and your kid keeps waking him up!"

Good luck getting this outta your head.
Hood Mama, clearly pissed, said, "I'm sorry, he's two. Sometimes they make noise." She started working overtime, ignoring her meal, to keep the kid entertained. It worked. But I looked at my hubs and said, "There is no way he's not going yell again and when he does, it's gonna get ugly in here. I can feel it."

Sure as shit, he shrieked and the woman yelled, "Oh. My. God, that's it! This is ridiculous! We have a newborn! Blah-blah-blah entitlement!" Ok, I made up that last sentence. But it was there in subtext. Hood Mama had about two Tequila drinks in her at this point and apparently Tequila does NOT make her clothes fall off. It did however give her Hulk-rage. She yelled, "Excuse me? He's two. They make noise!" The family yelled something else that I missed and Hood Mama stood up and yelled, "Are you fucking kidding me with this? He's a little kid. Why don't you mind your business?" The section went dead hushed. Then someone started yelling about her cussing in front of kids and she yelled back at them to shut up.

Then an old lady from a completely different table, marched up and got about six inches from Hood Mama's face and said, "Don't you ever speak like that in public to anybody! Don't you ever!" Hood Mama's eyes flashed fire and she went quiet and said, "You need to back outta face and mind your business. I don't know you. You got no business in my personal space." Then Hood Mama's mama saw which way the wind was blowing, so she got between then and ordered the old lady to go sit down. The old lady said she was getting the manager and Hood Mama was like, "Yeah, you better! Cuz all I'm trying to do is eat my meal!"

So the old lady and her group stormed out. The waitstaff only caught the part where the girl swore so they didn't know what the eff happened. The manager came over and talked to Hood Mama, who was embarrassed and in tears at this point. I think the manager scolded her. The girl apologized. The other family got up and walked out, and no one made eye contact with anyone. I'm sure they got their meal comped, which is BS.

When Hood Mama was packing up, she apologized to the people who remained in the section. I went up to her and I offered her a hug and she took it. She told me she'd had a few drinks, otherwise she wouldn't have said that. Yeah, I don't really believe that. I told her that I wished she hadn't swore (sworn?), but that those people were rude and they should have approached her like adults and not yelled across the restaurant. I told her to have a better night and not to swear in front of her kid anymore. She was actually very nice. Her mom came up and talked to me for a minute, very upset about the woman yelling in her daughter's face. Then they left.

Not as good as the Rally's Weave Throw Down, but still an interesting night.

Now you might think I was wrong to side with Hood Mama but as the wise Agent Jay once said, don't start none, won't be none. The other family lost the high ground as soon as they started shouting across the restaurant. Also, it's not a library. It's not a nursery. It's a restaurant. They are sometimes noisy. This is about civility. If you give it, you might get it. If you don't bother with it, then a Hood Mama is gonna cuss you out and you'll probably deserve it.

I don't care if this isn't the best meme to end my post. I laughed for five minutes when I saw it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Post About Suicide

I try to keep my posts here light but sometimes, the darker things must be talked about. My Facebook wall is blowing up with opinions and thoughts about Robin Williams. Some are profoundly thoughtful, others are misguided and condemning. People have a lot to say about suicide and a lot of those people have never experienced the level of shame and depression that comes along with having those thoughts. I cannot speak about Robin Williams pain, but I can share my own. Typically, I have poor boundaries and therefore will tell anyone anything about my life. But this story, before today, was something I'd only told to a couple of people.

I have always struggled with depression. I came from an abusive family with lots of emotional and physical trauma. But I thought I was fine. I had a handle on it. Then one day, I just fell into the bottom of a well of depression. It came on fast. I had a breakdown and I gathered pills and I considered taking my life. The person I loved most in the world was sleeping just down the hall and it had absolutely nothing to do with him. My pain was mine. The very considering of it was the most terrifying thing I've ever done. It scared me so badly that I called a suicide hotline which was the most unhelpful thing ever. The woman kept repeating everything I said and wasn't the least bit sympathetic. She actually made me so angry, I hung up on her and I found a website that asked me to stop and consider calling someone. So I called some friends, who came to my house at 2am and talked me down, because I was too ashamed to wake up the person I loved and tell him what I'd been about to do. For two weeks after, I felt like I was in the bottom of that pit with no way out. It was dark down there. Cold. Life was meaningless and I could barely get up in the morning. I kept thinking about ending it.

Lucky for me, whatever triggered it, just up and left. It was like I woke up and wiped off my glasses and could see again. To this day, I cannot even tell you WHAT triggered it. But I can tell you that it wasn't selfishness.

That's the thing I see written the most about suicide. How selfish it is. How they should have reached out for help. I can't speak for other people who've been through the fire and I KNOW that some people do it out of spite or out of rage.I know some people do it because of physical pain. But for me, it was the inevitable outcome of a life of shame. I felt unworthy of love, unworthy of life. That everything I did was not only useless but that my very presence ruined other people's lives. Asking for help felt like burdening the people I cared about. It didn't feel like selfishness because I didn't value myself.

So please stop shaming people who already feel ashamed. How can you tell someone who already feels like a piece of trash that if they do this act, everyone will think they're a piece of trash? What logic is that? Wouldn't it be better to tell people that they have value? To try to understand that their pain is no less real than the pain you'd feel if you stepped on a rusty nail? I can't understand why do we treat emotional pain as though it were imaginary. We've all felt some kind of emotional pain whether its a breakup or the loss of a job or the myriad of other crap- storms that life spins our way. We all know how real that pain is. The pain of someone who is considering suicide is no less real.

Yes, suicide hurts lots of people. It has far-reaching consequences and the belief that you are unworthy of life IS a false belief. But you should know, you were born worthy of this life. If you are considering suicide, I understand your pain, your heartache. The pain is real and it must be addressed. But you are not a bad person. You are not pathetic or selfish. Please consider reaching out. Please consider waiting five minutes. Then ten. Then an hour. Then a day. Give yourself some time. Not because other people will have to clean up after your body, but because you are VALUABLE, even if you don't feel like you are. It doesn't matter your flaws. It doesn't matter what horrible things you've done or thought. You are more than those things.

Click here to go to the website that saved my life. If all the current suicide talk has triggered you, like it has hit me, please click. "Suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain."

Monday, August 11, 2014

Perfectly Positive Monday #6

In the spirit of positivity, I will try (and sometimes fail) to post something positive and true on Mondays. Because Monday is the day you need positivity the most. 

 It's Monday! Aren't you excited? Couldn't you just spit?

Life is moving along at a good clip. I suddenly started sprinting ahead in my story after I started handwriting rather than typing it. I think I'm actually three quarters of the way through it! Which is amazing. Typing it up is going to be slow going though, my handwriting suuuuucks. 

Lets see.... oh, my husband bought me a "Just Because" card and hid it in my purse so when I went to buy lunch at work, I found it. It was the highlight of my day. 

I started a new Diabeetus med and it dropped my sugar like a stone. I've been more or less normalized for a month AND I lost a few pounds. These are excellent things. I still haven't bought my damned elliptical machine but I imagine if I had one, I'd have lost a lot more weight. This med just KILLS my appetite. 

I quit drinking soda and as of Wednesday I'll have gone fourteen weeks without soda pop. I am totally planning to cheat before the summer is over. I haven't had a single frozen Coke all summer long and that's just insane on the face of it. It's like a crime. 

Oh and I started watching Farscape on Netflix much to my husbands consternation. Because I needed more bad television to watch.

That's it. It's as much Monday positivity as I can dredge up. 

How YOU doin' this fine Monday?


Friday, August 8, 2014

Subvert the Dominant Paradigm

There is a part of me that is just a straight up shit-starter. I like do things because they aren't done. As I'm writing my romance novel, I have tried at every turn to outdo myself with the ridiculous things I managed to work into conversation between my characters. A few of my favorites are:

Farting contests
Toe hair
Colon cleanses
Geriatric dominatrices
Scissoring (and I'm not talkin' 'bout arts and crafts)

I swear to you, the book is sexy and it's a love story. Really. I'm sure.

Pretty sure.

Mostly sure.

The sex scenes are hot. I can definitely vouch for that.

On a different note, oh look, Dean Winchester images. Shut up, I can quit anytime I want!

No I can't.

Help. Me.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

IWSG: Perfection Defection

 1st Wednesday of the month is Insecure Writers Support Group. It’s a blog hop where you post about the joys and difficulties of being a writer.

When I was a kid, I was forever writing stories, yet my table remained littered with empty notebooks. If I made a single mistake, I'd tear out the page, throw it away and start writing all over again. If halfway down the page I spelled a word wrong, I'd tear it out and rewrite it all again. And again.

Perfectionism. It's a heavy, ugly word that sits like a brick wall between creativity and achievement. I've been so afraid of mistakes that my work sucked for much longer than it needed to. It's supposed to be bad at first. You suck, you learn, you suck less. That's the natural order. But I rarely wrote anything new and kept turning in the same crap to teachers and writing contests, waiting for someone to recognize my genius.

A college prof called me on it, pointing out that I was lazily turning in old stories and even after feedback, I turned them in again, unedited. She said I would never be a great writer if I didn't give up my fear of  mistakes. She was right. When I wrote my first manuscript, it was dreadful. Then I wrote another and it sucked too. With each one I've gotten better. Then I formed a writing group, took a lot of painful crit and got MUCH better. 

 The other day, I re-read a blog post by Kristen Lamb entitled, Is Your Subconscious Mind Setting You Up for Failure? and found it resonated with exactly what I wanted to say today.

The reason perfectionism is particularly nefarious is perfection is an impossible goal. Thus, when we buy into perfectionism we’re automatically setting ourselves up for failure, disappointment, self-loathing and neuroses. Perfection can’t be attained so the goal can never be reached...  Striving for excellence? Totally different story. We can be excellent without being “perfect.” Excellence ships. Excellence has deadlines. I can finish and let go of an excellent book. A perfect book? Good way to still be editing the same book for a decade.

Perfectionism is qualitative, where as excellence is QUANTITATIVE. We can’t measure an imaginary ideal. We can, however measure PROGRESS.
That is it in a nutshell. Perfectionism will lead you nowhere.You'll always be competing with others and coming up short. Learn from my mistakes. Don't be a slave to the clean page, terrified that any mistake or criticism is a sign that you aren't good enough. You've got shit to say and it can't wait for perfection. So go out and write. Scribble in the margins, spell things horriafacallly wrong. Make beautiful mistakes and learn from them. Perfection is a path to nowhere. It's artistic stagnation. The path to excellence is paved with crappy first drafts. So write toward excellence, not perfection.